Sutra and Bible

Item # 230795.

Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration 

This is the companion catalog to the JANM exhibition (2022) Sutra and Bible, the first museum exhibition to feature religion as a central prism through which we understand the wartime Japanese American experience. Together, the exhibit and this unique catalog explore the role that religious teachings, practices, and communities played in the WWII Japanese American experience beginning in 1941. From the confines of concentration camps and locales under martial law to the battlegrounds of Europe, Japanese Americans drew on their faith to survive forced removal, indefinite incarceration, unjust deportation, family separation, military service, and resettlement at a time when their race and religion were seen as threats to national security.

Co-curators and co-editors, Duncan Ryuken Williams and Emily Anderson, invite readers to journey through Japanese American spiritual adaptation during wartime, and to wonder: How do members of a community orient themselves in a moment of dislocation and loss, or find a modicum of freedom when civil liberties are taken away, or cope with pressures to assimilate and convert to the presumed Anglo-Protestant norms of American identity? How does a community discover resilience through its religious teachings and practices? How does a community establish solidarities with other racialized and religious communities even if this is frowned upon? And how do interconnected communities repair the racial hurts and karma of a nation?

Sutra and Bible: Faith and the Japanese American World War II Incarceration weaves visual storytelling with auxiliary essays from over thirty-two prominent voices across academic, arts, spiritual, and social justice communities, and brings us closer to the heart of Japanese American experience during wartime, spiritual resilience, and movements toward solidarity and reparations in the aftermath of state-sanctioned racial-religious animus.

Hardbound: 160 pp.

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